Category Archives: British gardens

Life in gardens: not always happy

Two sisters, 1927, Library of New South Wales, flickr

Elizabeth Jolley and sister Madelaine Winifred (having a good cry) in a garden, probably in the English Midlands, 1927, photographer unknown, via State Library of New South Wales on flickr.

Monica Elizabeth Jolley was an English-born author who moved to Western Australia in the late 1950s. In the photo above, the girls were about 5 and 4 years old.  Check out Madelaine’s bunny slippers.

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Picturing England (square by square)

Helichrysum italicum at Yalding Organic Gardens, a 10-acre garden open to the public near Benover, Kent.  Photo by Oast House Archives.

Helichrysum italicum at Yalding Organic Gardens, a 10-acre garden open to the public near Benover, Kent. Photo by Oast House Archives.

If a tour of the great gardens of the British Isles is not in your cards this summer, one vicarious alternative is Geograph®  – an online project that “aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.”

Since 2005, contributors have submitted over 3.5 million images covering over 81% of the total area.  You can search them by kilometre grid, by place name, by national trails, or by subject of interest (‘gardens’).

You can also join for free and upload your own images.  (Much of rural Ireland needs filling out.)

I spent an hour looking for gardens and country landscapes and found. . .

the classic,

The Italian Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, by Derek Voller.

The Italian Garden, Hever Castle, Kent, by Derek Voller.

the trendy,

Olympic Park, Stratford, Newham, by Chris Downer.

Olympic Park, Stratford, Newham, by Chris Downer.

the urban,

Fann Street Wildlife Garden, a private residents' garden in Barbican Estate, London, by David Hawgood.

Fann Street Wildlife Garden, a private residents’ garden in Barbican Estate, London, by David Hawgood.  The garden includes a meadow, nest boxes, a pond, and old logs for insects.

the open air,

Footpath near Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire, by Guy Erwood.  The ditch is the Old Sea Bank.

Footpath near Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire, by Guy Erwood. The ditch is the Old Sea Bank.

the normally off-limits,

Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, London, by Ian Yarham. He wrote:  "The first buildings on the site being constructed around 1200. In the latter half of the 19th century, Archbishop Tait opened the eastern end of the grounds to the local poor, enabling ".. scores of pale children" to play more often out-of-doors. This part of the Palace gardens officially became a public park in 1901 as Archbishop's Park. The Palace Gardens are not generally open to the general public, but on the last Saturday in June they are used for the North Lambeth Fete. This is when I was able to visit the gardens. The Palace Gardens are classically landscaped parkland with large specimen trees set in well-tended lawns and borders, a Chinese garden, a herb garden, a terraced rose garden and a wild garden."

Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, London, by Ian Yarham.

the far-flung,

Garden and gardener at Gravens, Shetland Islands, by Oliver Dixon.  He wrote: "Despite the unpromising climate, there are some very keen gardeners on Shetland, with some fine examples of rock gardens."

Garden and gardener at Gravens, Shetland Islands, by Oliver Dixon. He wrote: “Despite the unpromising climate, there are some very keen gardeners on Shetland, with some fine examples of rock gardens.”

the forgotten,

Former garden pond and fountain of the gardens of Bestwood Lodge, Nottinghamshire, by Mick Garratt. Behind are steps that lead nowhere now but once lead to the lodge.

Former garden pond and fountain of the gardens of Bestwood Lodge, Nottinghamshire, by Mick Garratt. The steps now lead nowhere but once went to the Lodge.

the charming,

Geraniums at Hidcote Manor Garden, near Hidcote Boyce, Gloucestershire, by David Dixon.

Geraniums at Hidcote Manor Garden, near Hidcote Boyce, Gloucestershire, by David Dixon.

the sweet,

Snowdrop, an Old Sussex Star, at Harlow Carr Gardens, near Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire, by Rich Tea.  The garden is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Snowdrop, an Old Sussex Star, at Harlow Carr Gardens, near Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire, by Rich Tea. The garden is run by the Royal Horticultural Society.

the atmospheric,

Cox Tor Triangulation Pilar, near Peter Tavy, Dartmoor, Devon, by Nigel Cox.

Cox Tor Triangulation Pillar, near Peter Tavy, Dartmoor, Devon, by Nigel Cox.

the inspiring,

Derek Jarman's garden, Dungeness, Kent, by Malc McDonald.

Derek Jarman’s garden, Dungeness, Kent, by Malc McDonald.

the sad,

Wickham Gardens, near Lincoln, by Richard Croft.  He wrote:  "Sadly, the pavilion has lost its roof and the playground almost completely denuded of all play equipment, condemned by health & safety concerns. I played here for countless hours as a boy in the 1960s and I wonder what the future holds for Wickham Gardens playground."

Wickham Gardens, near Lincoln, by Richard Croft. He wrote: “[T]he pavilion has lost its roof and the playground [is] almost completely denuded of all play equipment, condemned by health & safety concerns. I played here for countless hours as a boy in the 1960s and I wonder what the future holds for Wickham Gardens playground.”

the weird,

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens on the grounds of Riverhill House, near Underriver, Kent, by Richard Croft.  The gardens feature rhododendrons and rare trees and a view point over the Weald of Kent.  And, for some undivulged reason, a person dressed as a yeti, "moving through Chestnut Wood . . . looking rather uncomfortable in 30° heat on the hottest day of the year."

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens on the grounds of Riverhill House, near Underriver, Kent, by Richard Croft. The gardens feature rhododendrons and rare trees and a view point over the Weald of Kent –and a person dressed as a yeti, “moving through Chestnut Wood . . . looking rather uncomfortable in 30°C heat.”

the possible DIY,

The walled garden, Abbotsford, near Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders, by Barbara Carr.  Sir Walter Scott laid out the garden in the 1820s.

The walled garden, Abbotsford, near Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders, by Barbara Carr. Sir Walter Scott laid out the garden in the 1820s.

the thing-I-don’t-want-to-have-to-do-myself,

Westminster seen from the London Eye, by Raymond E. Hawkins.

Westminster seen from the London Eye, by Raymond E. Hawkins.

and, of course, the super-old and historic.

Restored medieval dovecoat, near Buckton, Northumberland, by Graham Robson.

Restored medieval dovecoat, near Buckton, Northumberland, by Graham Robson.

All the above photos are copyrighted to the photographers named in the captions and are licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons (CC) License.

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Filed under British gardens, culture and history, design, garden design, landscape, nature, plants

Vintage landscape: Bagatelle Garden (and Chelsea Miscellany)

Bagatelle/enclos*ure Hand-tinted (3″ x 5″) glass lantern slide of Bagatelle Garden, Paris, France, ca. 1930, photographer unknown.

Below: two details.

Bagatelle detail/enclos*ure

The image is from the Garden Club of America Collection, part of the Archives of American Gardens at the Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).

Bagatelle detail/enclos*ure

The Archives hold over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens.  At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America.

Smithsonian Gardens maintains 11 gardens around the Smithsonian Institution’s grounds and also has a good blog here.

Chelsea Miscellany

It’s RHS  Chelsea Flower Show time!  Their website is here.

All The Telegraph’s  Chelsea coverage is here; The Guardian’s is here; The Independent’s is here.

BBC coverage is here.  You may need this to view it.  (View episodes soon; some expire in four days.)

The New York Times reports on how gnomes will be allowed in the show this year (only), here.  In the Herald (Dublin), “Diarmuid Gavin has branded the Chelsea Flower Show ‘dull’ and described Prince Harry’s garden at the centenary exhibition as ‘bad,’” here.

Studio ‘g’  has photos of the Best in Show winner — the Australian garden — here, and they promise more pictures to come.  Also, check out The Galloping Gardener’s report, here (thanks to GD by CM) — Gardenista’s, here – and The Enduring Gardener’s, here.   Anne Wareham of thinkinGardens comments on two of this year’s entries, here.

Sources for seeds for cow parsley — plant of the moment at this year’s show, according to Gardenista – here.

Instagram photos tagged #chelseaflowershow are here.  GAP Photos has 103 photos of Chelsea, here.  More photos, as well as plant lists, are posted on Shoot, here.

Where have you found good photos or reviews of the show?

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Filed under art, British gardens, culture and history, design, French gardens, garden design, garden writing, landscape, nature, plants, vintage landscape, Washington, D.C., gardens

Nice arrangement of logs and sticks

Log arch at 2010 Malvern Show.  Photo by The Enduring Gardener.

I saw this photo on the blog The Enduring Gardener and thought of my parents, who had their forest thinned last fall, which left a lot of woody debris.  A simple metal frame holds the logs and sticks in place.

Are you currently cleaning up from a lot of winter tree damage?

This log arch was a display at the 2010 Malvern Spring Gardening Show in the U.K. The photo is © The Enduring Gardener, which is written by Stephanie Donaldson, Contributing Garden Editor of Country Living (U.K.) magazine. She also co-authored The Elements of Organic Gardening with the Prince of Wales.

Her blog’s “Inspiration” page has a lot of great photos of the Chelsea and Hampton Court garden shows.

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Vintage landscape: open-air school

Open-air school in London, Library of Congress“Children in chairs on lawn during afternoon rest, London County Open-air School.”

Open-air school, London, Library of Congress“Class on lawn, children in chairs, London Open-air School.”

Open-air schools in Europe and the U.S. were  part of an effort in the first half of the 20th century to combat the rise of tuberculosis.  The first — a waldeschule or forest school — was built near Berlin, Germany, in 1904.

An open-air school was created in England in 1907 by the London County Council. This may be the school pictured here.  A second London school was organized in 1908. By 1937, there were 96 open-air schools in Great Britain.

Photos and captions by Bain News Service via the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (no dates provided).

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Filed under a garden in history, British gardens, culture and history, garden design, nature, vintage landscape